Good info on UHMW - what about phenolic?

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Since we're searching for low cost sources (and having some success) what about suppliers for sheets of phenolic for something less than the price of gold? I don't see why it should cost $25 to $50 to make a silly zero-clearance table saw insert or a router plate.
There have been several occasions where I've gone into a public bathroom and found that the stall walls were made of solid 1/2" or 3/4" phenolic sheets; certainly others have seen this too? There's no WAY these sheets can cost anywhere near what the woodworking supply companies are sticking us for router plate material; it would cost upwards of $5000 just to put a few stalls in a bathroom! Any ideas?
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I used a hard plastic material, actal type unknown.
I was in the local Bed, Bath and Beyond a couple of months ago and they had some food prep boards made of a whitish, opaqure plastic for a couple of bucks apiece.
I bought one and experimented with it.
I was able to cut it easily on a small bandsaw and used a forstner bid to cut recesses for the mounting tans on the table top.
For the slot, I just slowly brought the blade up therough the material at full tilt to the left and then the right.
I trimmed it with the router and it works great.
I went back and bought a few more and have been making inserts for the other tools as needed.

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Jay Giuliani wrote:

I think I saw those, and I was tempted to buy a couple for that very purpose. I'll have to go back and pick some up.
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Jay Giuliani wrote:

I have a few of those, too. I gey them when those places go under and have clearance sales. I use it for all kinds of jigs and sleds. It's not quite the same as UHMW (at least not what I've bought from WC), but works well for lots of stuff.
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Good idea and thanks for the tip. I went to a BBB today and tested the bendability of small cutting boards. I found the Bamboo board to be the strongest, therefore, made the purchase. Now, I'll experiment with it in my table.
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Thanks,
I liked it because it was cheap.
I probably went thicker (about 7/16") than I needed but was also worried about flex. I am not sure that is an issue though baseed on the amount of deflection you actually would get on the small surface area of an insert with the work piece sliding across and not held down with much pressure. I can't imagine it would be noticeable.
I don't have a full size table saw due to space constraints, just a portable contractors saw I do most of my edge work on a router tghat is built into the top of my workbench..
I typically don't like working with the harder plastic or resin products because the dust gets everywhere and my main shop is in the house. I am only banished to the garage for finishing.
I bet the bamboo will look nice.

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Steve Turner wrote:

Is it really phenolic? The ones I've seen which were busted enough for the material to be identifiable were generally particle board with a plastic overlay.
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"J. >

There are a variety of materials used. Bobrick offers a phenolic core covered with laminate. They are significantly more expensive than the metal or particle board types.
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Roger amd Missy Behnke wrote:

Interesting--I've got to start hanging out in a better class of public toilet <grin>.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I was in a hotel restroom (Omni in ATL, or maybe the luxury box section of that arena) that had solid hardwood panel partitions trimmed in what I swear was Mahogany. Complete with valet dude drying your hands and offering cologne and all that.
Now if the Flying J could get on board with that. :-)
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Have you tried the Minneapolis airport terminal men's room? I hear you can meet U. S. senators there.
Dave in Houston
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Dave in Houston wrote:

I'd rather "meet" a syphilitic porcupine.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I'm 95% sure the ones I've seen were not a plastic overlay. They were machined all around the edges, and looked like solid material. The stall doors were *very* solid, and I did quite a lot of tapping on them with my knuckles to listen for the "tone" of the material (I am a drummer, after all) and my sense was that they were indeed solid phenolic. BTW, I did make sure no one else was in there, so as not to receive any unwanted taps in return. :-)
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Steve Turner wrote:

I've seen what you're talking about and agree that they appeared to be solid plastic.
The

You sure you weren't tapping your foot on the foot in the next stall? :-p
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1/2" MDF works fine. Works out to about 35 each.
Not so good for bathroom stalls though.
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Steve Turner wrote:

of moon gel?
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-MIKE- wrote:

Always! But not for router plates. :-)
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Steve Turner wrote:

I'm too embarrassed to ask over at rmmp, but do you remember any of the suggestions for that.
I'm actually looking. I've been teaching drum tuning at a recording school and I keep leaving them behind.
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Steve Turner wrote:

Simply supply and demand, coupled with market value.
How much will they pay for this and still buy it? What do comparables sell for?
I told the story (rmmp, maybe) of buying products in craft store for half the of what they charge for the same exact product, from the same manufacturer, just in different colored/designed graphics, at Lowes/HD.
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You might be quite shocked to find out what toilet partitions cost. Gibraltor brand are solid phenolic capped with a melamine final surface. Santana is solid plastic . Bobrick is a hybrid fiberglass/plastic type product. Stainless steel, marble, etc round out the possibilities. At the bottom end are painted steel and Formica clad particle board.
Painted steel is the cheapest. $50-75 per surface - each door, pilaster, side wall and additional money for hardware and clips. Santana well over $200 per surface. Gibraltor and Bobrick quite a bit higher.
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